The Kootenay Rockies hold the secret to many getaways just north of the border
written by Ryn Pfeuffer
When winter blankets Rossland, British Columbia, in a shimmering coat of snow, it transforms into an enchanting wonderland that beckons snow enthusiasts from across the globe. While the Canadian village of Whistler has earned a renowned status as a world-class ski destination, you’ll discover unrivaled snow conditions and shorter lines in this unassuming ski town tucked in the heart of the Kootenay Rockies. Rossland epitomizes a winter paradise and small-town charm, offering diverse activities for outdoor thrill-seekers and those seeking cozy relaxation.
Rossland’s winter season heralds the arrival of RED Mountain Resort, a premier destination for skiing and snowboarding in North America. Offering diverse terrain for all skill levels, pristine powder and an absence of crowds, it’s an absolute must for winter sports enthusiasts. Situated at the southern tip of B.C.’s famed Powder Highway, RED Mountain sprawls across five magnificent Monashee peaks, encompassing more than 3,850 acres. This gem ranks among North America’s top ten largest ski areas, and excitement has grown since the debut of a buzz-worthy slopeside hotel in 2018, coupled with its recent inclusion in the multi-resort Ikon Pass program.
Make The Josie Hotel, Autograph Collection your haven for the quintessential winter escape. Here, you’ll wake up just steps away from the expansive winter playground. This award-winning ski-in, ski-out property seamlessly merges boutique accommodations with the authentic RED Mountain experience and the unique spirit of Rossland. Offering 106 upscale guest rooms and suites, as well as the stylish Velvet Restaurant and Lounge and the convenience of an in-house ski valet service, The Josie ensures you have everything you desire right at your doorstep.
If solitude and a profound connection with nature beckon, Rossland beckons you with its pristine backcountry terrain. Equip yourself with backcountry gear, enlist the guidance of an expert and embark on an exploration of the untouched wilderness surrounding the town. Based in Nelson, Summit Mountain Guides excels in leading individuals and small groups on extraordinary adventures in the Rossland Range and other untouched Kootenay backcountry landscapes. Whether you’re an ardent backcountry skier or you favor the tranquility of snowshoeing, Rossland’s backcountry offers a diverse range of options to feed your soul.
Winter doesn’t spell the end of the hiking season in Rossland. The town’s winter trails wind through enchanting forests, unveiling hidden vistas. To explore these routes on foot, team up with the Friends of Rossland Range for memorable snowshoeing excursions. This dedicated group has partnered with the province to create and maintain accessible trails suited to all activity levels. Don’t forget to pause and warm up in one of the welcoming winter cabins along the Seven Summits trail.
As the sun sets and the stars emerge, Rossland’s après ski scene comes to life. Head to The Flying Steamshovel Gastropub & Inn, named after an ill-fated flying machine that met its demise nearby. The Flying Steamshovel offers an array of double-digit craft beer taps, a B.C.-focused wine list, handcrafted cocktails and a menu filled with locally sourced gastropub delights, including mouthwatering burgers, tacos and flatbreads. Don’t miss the daily happy hour from 3–5 p.m. Alternatively, cozy up at Donnie’s Bistro, where you can indulge in hearty bites like crispy chicken karaage, chorizo tacos and a cajun veggie po-boy.
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie on the hunt for fresh powder, a nature lover longing for backcountry solitude or someone searching for cozy relaxation, Rossland offers something for everyone. Its natural beauty, friendly community and diverse winter activities make it the ultimate winter destination. So, bundle up, gear up and start your unforgettable winter adventure in this underrated B.C. town.
ROSSLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA
The Flying Steamshovel Gastropub & Inn
Velvet Restaurant and Lounge
The Josie Hotel, Autograph Collection
Friends of Rossland Range
RED Mountain Resort
Summit Mountain Guides